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MJ Ray said on Thu, May 06, 2004 at 11:37:26PM +0100,:

 > What did you read?

The various documentation from the FSF.
 > Did you obtain it directly from FSF?

No. I found all this in a Debian Woody CD From a friend.

 > been less or more enlightening if you had the freedom to edit it?

I would  have got a very  different idea about freedom  if this friend
had changed either  the FSF's `political speech', or  the Debian PM or
DFSG and whatever else is in doc-debian and allied packages. That this
friend  had the  freedom  to modify  the  latter, but  did  not, is  a
different issue altogether.
 > Maybe their aim is noble, but I believe their method is wrong. This

My point is that  it is not a question of `wrong'  and `right'; just a
different way of solving issues.
 > weapon proliferation  causes peace (because everyone  is too scared
 > to attack each other) or danger  (because there is more chance of a
 > mistake). How far  should we restrict people's freedom  in order to
 > promote freedom?

You have a point here.

 > feel that the FSF does not currently represent my view on software

Which is what the whole issue is about. FSF says `documentation is not
software'. Debian says `whatever we carry in our CDs is software'.

The problem for  experienced users and advocates of  the free software
philosophy, like me (I'm speaking for myself *only*, as an individual,
and not  as a  lawyer, which is  what I  do for a  living) is  that if
Debian takes out  what is `free documentation' for the  FSF we loose a
potent tool for spreading the concept. 

I would never  have understood the real meaning  of `free software' if
the FSF's messages were not carried  in a *Debian* CD, and I read them
side-by-side with the documents in /usr/share/doc/*debian*.

Does debian  really want to deny  future newbies a good  intro to what
free  software is by  taking out  all this  political speech  from the

And  all this  `political  speech' is  very  different and  has to  be
treated differently from other `do not modify' documents like RFCs. 

I am  reading this list  for about two  years now, and  understand why
Debian does not  want invariant sections, (and also  other issues with
the GFDL).  But I also understand the FSF's perspective; and the point
is that both are right, in their own way.

 > This is worrying, but not insurmountable.

Yes. And somebody tells me that  there was a meeting of this committee
last month. And there was some progress on this issue. 

  Mahesh T. Pai, LL.M.,                   
  'NANDINI', S. R. M. Road,               
  Ernakulam, Cochin-682018,               
  Kerala, India.                          

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